What is Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia?
Homophobia, transphobia and biphobia (HTB) are all types of prejudice or discrimination faced by people based on their sexuality or gender identity. HTB can take the form of violent, physical attacks, verbal abuse, being treated unfairly or unfavourably, or ‘incitement to hatred’ (when somebody stirs up hatred in other people, e.g. by sharing hate speech against a particular group online).
Schools often struggle to combat HTB as we are still fighting against the after effects of Section 28. This was a law which was in place from 1988-2000 and prohibited schools from ‘promoting’ lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT+) or other diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. This law made many educational professionals feel uncomfortable with stopping HTB bullying because it was unclear whether helping LGBT+ students could be seen as breaking the law. Although these rules were abolished over 20 years ago, many schools still do not have the adequate inclusivity procedures to eradicate HTB bullying.
In 2017, Stonewall reported that the LGBT+ community still faces high levels of prejudice, discrimination and hate with as many as 45% of LGBT+ students – and 64% of transgender students – reporting experiences of homophobic, biphobic or transphobic bullying. They also found that high percentages of LGBT+ pupils hear homophobic (52%), biphobic (36%) and transphobic (46%) language used ‘frequently’ or ‘often’ at school.
Sadly, this doesn’t just stay within the confines of the school gates. Galop’s 2020 survey found that 4/5 participants had experienced a transphobic hate crime and 7/10 said that their daily routine was affected by fear of transphobia. The UK has also moved further down the Global Equality Index . This is due to inequality in the workplace and many public figures still spreading openly critical and harmful information about the LGBT+ community.
International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.
May 17th is International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia (IDAHOTB). It was created in 2004 to draw the attention to the violence and discrimination experienced by the LGBT+ community. The date of May 17th is symbolic as it was the day that the World Health Organisation declassified homosexuality from being a mental health disorder. IDAHOTB is celebrated in more than 130 countries, including 37 in which same-sex acts are still illegal.
Being subject to discrimination has a huge negative impact on the mental health of LGBT+ people. Even more so, for those still in education who feel isolated as a result of HTB bullying. This is why it is so important that we make the most of every available opportunity to capture the attention of schools, politicians, the media and the public to dispel harmful stereotypes and raise visibility.
Experienced a hate crime?
It is important to remember that most cases of HTB can also be classified as a hate crime. There are specific channels in place in order to report it and people to support you throughout the process.
Space Youth are also a hate crime reporting service which means that you can report any HTB by following the ‘Report Hate Crime’ button on the space website. This can be done anonymously if preferred. You can also tell any of Space’s team members who can guide you through the process of reporting it to the police.
Need more support?
Space Youth Project creates a network in which members can feel free to share their experiences of being a young LGBT+ person. They offer support groups, 1 to 1 support, family support, and counselling. This is a space to talk about how you feel about a homophobic, biphobic or transphobic event you experienced or simply wish to talk to somebody who will understand what it’s like to be LGBT+. Support groups are with your peers and our highly qualified team of youth workers who will be there to listen to and support you.